Friday, May 18, 2007

Just what is YOUR dit, dit, dit?

Part of my inner monologue is to remind all of us about day to day happenings in each person's life becoming precious memories for the next generation. Genealogy is not just names, places, and dates. All of it comes together when we look deeper into our ancestor's life not just as BORN...DIED. It is the dit,dit,dit which gives all of us an opportunity to know them by sharing and researching ideals and ideals. I encourage you to contemplate how they would feel if they were a forgotten relative. Try to find connections with simple examples.

When Hannah Opseth (Jaeme’s third great grandmother), made oatmeal, it may have meant growing the grain, milling it, and then cooking it on a stove made from clay covered sod cooked in a black pot. It may have been served on a tin plate with molasses as sweetener. If they were lucky enough to have a cow, milk was often drunk out of tin cup. The tin cup may have been a can they found in town and made a handle for it.

When Julia, (Jaeme’s second great grandmother), cooked oatmeal, she may have gotten it at the local mercantile. She would scoop it out of the bulk wooden barrel or box. She would cook it on a kitchen stove heated with wood which she may have cut herself. She would serve it in their Sunday best dishes because Grandma believed in using them daily. If the wooden crate was empty, someone would get it and make something else out of it.

When Ella (Jaeme’s great grand mother) made oatmeal, she bought it in the store in small quantities in a box with a little string that you pulled on to open it and made it on her electric range with controlled heat settings. It would be served in Melmac© bowls. She never said INSTANT and OATMEAL in the same sentence. And Elodee would beg for the oatmeal box to make something out of it.

When Elodee, (Jaeme’s grandmother), thought about oatmeal, she made refrigerator oatmeal cookies from her aunt's recipe in the Zion Lutheran Cookbook 1951 edition.

Perhaps when Rachel, (Jaeme’s mother), thinks about oatmeal, it is instant and a minute in the microwave seems too long.

And Jaeme at nine may just eat an oatmeal bar.

The similarities on the simplest day to day tasks helps us find a way to thank them for their contribution.


When one reads the old newspapers, one gets a sense that social life was to visit and to go visit with people who lived close. It didn't matter if you were Norwegian, Swede, or any other nationality. It didn't matter which church you belonged to or what political party. They were just men and women of a human family put into a melting pot. They helped in sickness and in health; in sorrow and tragedy.

Obituaries were often written by people in the community. The person who wrote them knew them. Here are a couple of examples. Be mindful of all the information they provide.

Mrs. Martin Alby

Again the grim reaper has visited our midst, this time his summons being for Mrs. Martin Alby, a young woman and a wife of not yet a year. Mrs. Alby, whose maiden name was Myrtle Nelson, was born at Rosewood on October 17, 1905, being the twin sister of Carrie Nelson and a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E Nelson. Myrtle grew to woman hood at this place and at Viking. She was educated at local schools, won a large number of true friends, who admired her gentle and loving nature and her untimely demise is keenly felt.

She was married at Warren to Mr. Alby, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Ole Alby of this place and the newlyweds left immediately for Max, North Dakota where Mr. Alby was employed at railroad work at that place they have resided since and until about five weeks ago when Myrtle became ill from an attack of influenza, which set into pneumonia and complications. She was removed to the Trinity Hospital at Minot, North Dakota where she peacefully passed away at midnight on April 4. Nearest to mourn are her husband, her mother, Mrs. Thea Nelson, her sisters Carrie of Winnipeg, Manitoba and Eleanor of this place and her brother, Ted Nelson besides a large number of other relatives and a host of friends and neighbors.

Myrtle was one of those quiet meditative and home loving characters who pass through life without a ripple or murmur. Their existence appears to be predestined of short duration. A wider sphere seems to call them, they exist as a tropic flower in an Arctic zone, their duration is sweet, much admired but--short. Peace to Myrtle’s memory!

The funeral took place at the Rindal Church on Saturday afternoon and interment was made in the Rindal Cemetery. Reverend Werner Drotts of Viking officiated and two English duets were sung by Misses Delma Dole and Lilly Holson. About fifty autos and 200 persons attended.


Mrs. Thea Nelson is dead

Mrs. Thea Nelson, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. T Mellem of this place was born in Trysil, Norway on August 14, 1881. When a mere child, she came to America together with her parents and for a short time was a resident of Fargo, North Dakota. When she was four years old she came to this place where her parents became homesteaders south of Rosewood. She grew to maidenhood where she has spent practically her entire life. In the fall of 1898, Thea was married to Mr. Enoch Nelson and they resided for short intervals at St. Hilaire and Viking but always maintained interests at this place and for several years since Mr. Nelson’s death in the winter of 1922,she resided on a farm about five miles north of Rosewood. To the marriage union was born six children, three of whom are living and three dead, a daughter, Mrs. Martin Alby, who died on Easter Sunday and was buried here about two weeks ago. Mrs. Nelson became ill with influenza while staying with Mrs. Alby during her illness and death at Minot, North Dakota and was able to attend the funeral but the following day collapsed and has been under constant medical care since. A severe attack of influenza set in and worked toward the heart and was the direct cause of death. Nearest to mourn Mrs. Nelson are her children, Ted and Eleanor of this place and Carrie Nelson of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. T Mellem, and the following brothers and sisters. Mrs. Alfred Carlson of New York City, Mrs. Nick Bergvall of Texas, Mrs. John Bergland of Bemidji, Mrs. SS Nordhagen of Viking, Mrs. Henning Backlund of Strathcona, Mrs. Carl Bloom, Carl, Peter, and Emil Mellem of Rosewood.

Mrs. Nelson passed away peacefully on Monday morning, April 26. She had been suffering intensely during the illness but the last days had been in a lethargic state without pain and seemingly away from her senses. Mrs. Nelson leaves a large number of friends and she will be missed by all who know her. It will be another empty chair, a vacant space, once state fully filled by a faithful wife, a loving mother, and a kind and true friend, and neighbor but now, no more, it is the unfailing law of the universe, and it has always been and always will be. Peace to Mrs. Nelson’s memory!



2 comments:

Rachel Thomae said...

I used to buy those packets of Quaker instant oatmeal that take about thirty seconds to cook. Jaeme likes oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies from Mrs. Fields. So glad that my labor is getting in the car, driving to the mall and buying her one. *smile*

ryen.anderson said...

It tried doing it the old fashioned way. I bought steel cut oatmeal in a cool tin. It would take nearly an hour to make breakfast, so it was a very special occasion when I'd make it. It took me two years to eat the whole tin. Now, I keep my change in the tin and realized I only bought that oatmeal because I liked the packaging.